By Justin Sink - 04/02/13 04:23 PM EDT
President Obama will travel to Connecticut on Monday in his latest effort to push the Senate to act on a set of new gun-control proposals, according to a published report.
The president will speak at the University of Hartford, just an hour north of the site of last year's deadly elementary school shooting. The Associated Press reported that some families of victims of the shooting, which left 20 children and six educators dead, will be in attendance.
"He will continue asking the American people to join him in calling on Congress to pass common- sense legislation to reduce gun violence," White House press secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday.
The administration has intensified efforts to build momentum for the gun package ahead of a planned Senate vote following the Easter recess. On Wednesday, Obama will travel to Colorado and visit the site of the Aurora, Colo. movie theater shooting. Families of victims of gun violence, including some who died in the Newtown shooting, also attended the White House Easter Egg Roll on Monday.
At an event last week at the White House, Obama marked 100 days from the Newtown shooting by urging the Senate to approve new gun controls. The legislation would expand background checks on firearm purchases, create new penalties on straw purchases and include new funding for school security.
The bill will not include other aspects of the plan introduced by the president in the aftermath of the Newtown shooting, including the renewal of an assault weapons ban or limits on magazine capacity — although Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has pledged to allow a vote on those provisions as an amendment.
“Tears aren't enough. Expressions of sympathy aren't enough. Speeches aren't enough,” Obama said.
“We've cried enough. We've known enough heartbreak. What we're proposing isn't radical. It isn't taking anybody's gun rights. It's something that, if we are serious, we will do.”
On Tuesday, Carney said the president's events shouldn't be read as concern that momentum was stalling out in Congress, but rather an acknowledgment that any new gun controls would be tough.
"The proposition itself was a challenging one for all the reasons that we understand about, you know, the efforts of the past to address gun violence through common sense legislation or other means," Carney said. "You know, this is not easy stuff, and the president has been clear about that from the beginning, but that is not an excuse not to do everything we can to make it happen."
Updated at 3:03 p.m.